Review—The Invocation by Carl Alves

4 out of 5 stars!

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Kenna Trigg plays with an Ouija board, little does she know that she is about to unleash a malevolent spirit upon the world, leaving her and her older brother, Jake, to stop the spirit as it leaves a trail of dead bodies in its wake.

In The Invocation, a supernatural thriller that combines elements of Stranger Things and The Exorcist, Kenna Trigg and three of her friends from the fourth grade manage to befriend a spirit named Mia, who died in her late teens in a drowning accident, using of an Ouija board. Cotter, a malevolent spirit who had been a con-man and criminal in life, tricks Kenna and her friends into releasing him into our world by posing as Mia. Cotter has the ability to take control and possess people he comes across. With this new power, he begins a vicious crime spree. Kenna turns to her older brother, Jake, a professional mixed-martial artist who has recently been released from prison. Now, Kenna and Jake must stop Cotter from unleashing havoc in our world.

Oujia boards scare the crap out of me.  I just want to put that out there.   And when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I just had to read it.  Plus, I’m always looking for fresh YA stories that my teen son (who happens to have Asperger’s) is willing to put down the gaming controls for……and I found that with The Invocation.  In fact, my delayed review is due to giving my son the book to read to get his opinion as well.  The following is a melting pot of sorts of our opinions.

The story sucked us in from the first page.  The characters are realistic and likable (as well as unlikable in certain cases), with enough backstory to flesh them out.  Where my son and I have differing opinions falls into the ensuing side stories.  I was looking forward to a bit more of the occult horror genre, as the whole cage-fighting/MMA aspect isn’t really my cup of tea.  However, my son loved these passages (and I will say they were well-written and really brought the action through to the reader).  I also thought the ending felt a little rushed, but with no complaints from my son I’ll just chalk it up to personal preferences.

Overall, I thought this was a very good story and after hearing my son’s glowing review of it, I will say it definitely hit the mark for the target 14+ YA audience.  I look forward to reading more of Carl Alves’ work in the future.

Stay safe and healthy, and Happy Reading!

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